CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill was let go by the news network on Thursday, one day after Hill called in a United Nations forum for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” Many Palestinian groups, including the terrorist group Hamas, have used that phrase to call for the elimination of Israel, though Hill denied on Twitter that he was calling for violence or the end to the Jewish state.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
He’s a professor, advocate and TV talking head:
Hill, 39, is a progressive activist in his home city of Philadelphia, and a professor of media studies at Temple University, his alma mater. (Temple has said it will not fire Hill) He’s worked as a TV commentator on every major cable news network, as well as hosting a livestreamed talk show for the Huffington Post. He also hosts reunion episodes for the VH1 reality show “Basketball Wives.”
This is the second time he’s been fired by a cable outlet:
Hill was fired from Fox News in 2009, where he was a regular guest panelist, after prominent conservative activist David Horovitz criticized Hill’s support for Assata Shakur, who was convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper before escaping from prison and fleeing to Cuba. Hill has said he found out he was fired after receiving a Google Alert.
He’s unapologetic about his radical politics:
He has frequently been harshly critical of Israel’s policies and has questioned its existence:
Even before his United Nations speech, Hill was the subject of criticism from Jewish groups like the Zionist Organization of America for his Israel-related commentary. For instance, in a May op-ed in the Huffington Post titled “7 Myths About The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” Hill wrote that one of the myths was “Israel has a right to exist,” which he called “propaganda.” He also once tweeted that President Trump’s call for Palestinians to reject terrorism was “offensive & counterproductive,” and has expressed support for the convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh.
He’s associated with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan:
The entertainment website The Wrap reported last month that a photo of Hill and Farrakhan smiling together was being used to promote Farrakhan’s album. Subsequent investigation revealed that Hill had frequently praised Farrakhan, who has been condemned for decades for his anti-Semitic and homophobic statements. Hill responded that although he disagreed with Farrakhan on some issues, he did not regret meeting with him.